Areas of Expertise: Crop genetics & diversity, process-based modeling, ecophysiology
Crop species, along with their wild and weedy relatives, are equipped with an arsenal of strategies to cope with environmental variability. These strategies have differential effects on survival and productivity that are influenced by the temporal sequences of abiotic factors and their interaction with genetically-conditioned plant features.
Our program aims to clarify the interfaces of space-time and genetics towards greater comprehension of intra-specific variation in physiological mechanisms that are triggered in response to abiotic stress (e.g., water deficit); we seek to understand their consequences on plant behavior under novel environmental scenarios. Our primary approach involves linking genetics and physiology with iterative development, testing, and validation of process-based models. Process-based eco-physiological models enable studying non-linear responses of plant systems that cross temporal and spatial scales, thereby integrating across different levels of biological organization. These models formalize physiology into mathematical functions, which are linked together and driven by a suite of time-series environmental data. When informed (e.g., parameterized) by genomics and diversity information, we can use these tools to ask questions about the adaptive potential of different acclimation responses, predict the behavior of uncharacterized genotypes under future climates, and systematically short-list hypotheses in silico about the consequences of genetic variation that can then be tested under experimental conditions.
A vast array of the morphological, physiological, and molecular variation we can observe within and across plant species are emergent properties that arise from the interaction of plant and environment. Process-based, systems approaches that can integrate heterogeneous data types are critical to deepen understanding of dynamic plant functions and their broad implications on ecology, adaptation and breeding.
*co-first author; †corresponding author
Bathe Diop, Diane R. Wang, Khady N. Drame, Vernon Gracen, Pangirayi Tongoona, Daniel Dzidzienyo, Eric Nartey, Anthony J. Greenberg, Saliou Djiba, Eric Y. Danquah, Susan R. McCouch. Genetic characterization of tolerance to ferrous iron toxicity of existing rice germplasm from West Africa. In press. Journal of Experimental Botany. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eraa182
Diane R. Wang*†, Carmela R. Guadagno*, Xiaowei Mao*, D. Scott Mackay, Jonathan R. Pleban, Robert L. Baker, Cynthia Weinig, Jean-Luc Jannink, Brent E. Ewers. A framework for genomics-informed ecophysiological modeling. Journal of Experimental Botany. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz090
Diane R. Wang, Francisco J. Agosto-Pérez, Dmytro Chebotarov, Yuxin Shi, Jonathan Marchini, Melissa Fitzgerald, Kenneth L. McNally, Nickolai Alexandrov, Susan R. McCouch. An imputation platform to enhance integration of rice genetic resources. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05538-1
Takeshi Kuroha*, Keisuke Nagai*, Rico Gamuyao*, Diane R. Wang*, Tomoyuki Furuta, Masanari Nakamori, Takuya Kitaoka, Keita Adachi, Anzu Minami, Yoshinao Mori, Yoshiya Seto, Shinjiro Yamaguchi, Mikiko Kojima, Hitoshi Sakakibara, Jianzhong Wu, Kaworu Ebana, Nobutaka Mitsuda, Masaru Ohme-Takagi, Syuichi Yanagisawa, Masanori Yamasaki, Ryusuke Yokoyama, Kazuhiko Nishitani, Toshihiro Mochizuki, Gen Tamiya, Susan R. McCouch, and Motoyuki Ashikari. Ethylene-gibberellin signaling underlies adaptation of rice to periodic flooding. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aat1577
Diane R. Wang, Rongkui Han, Edward J. Wolfrum, Susan R. McCouch. The buffering capacity of stems: genetic architecture of non-structural carbohydrates in cultivated Asian rice (Oryza sativa L.). New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.14614
Diane R. Wang, Edward J. Wolfrum, Parminder Virk, Abdelbagi Ismail, Anthony J. Greenberg, Susan R. McCouch. Robust phenotyping strategies for evaluation of stem non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in rice. Journal of Experimental Botany. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw375
Kanako Bessho-Uehara*, Diane R. Wang*, Tomoyuki Furuta, Anzu Minami, Keisuke Nagai, Rico Gamuyao, Kenji Asano, Rosalyn B. Angeles-Shim, Yoshihiro Shimizu, Madoka Ayano, Norio Komeda, Kazuyuki Doi, Kotaro Miura, Yosuke Toda, Toshinori Kinoshita, Satohiro Okuda, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Mika Nomoto, Yasuomi Tada, Hidefumi Shinohara, Yoshikatsu Matsubayashi, Jian Zhong Wu, Hideshi Yasui, Atsushi Yoshimura, Hitoshi Mori, Susan R. McCouch & Motoyuki Ashikari. Loss of function at RAE2, a novel EPFL, is required for awnlessness in cultivated Asian rice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1604849113
Diane R. Wang, James A. Bunce, Martha B. Tomecek, David Gealy, Anna McClung, Susan R. McCouch, Lewis H. Ziska. Evidence for divergence of response in Indica, Japonica, and wild rice to high CO2 x temperature interaction. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13279
Lei Hua, Diane R. Wang, Lubin Tan, Yongcai Fu, Fengxia Liu, Langtao Xiao, Zuofeng Zhu, Qiang Fu, Xianyou Sun, Ping Gu, Hongwei Cai, Susan R. McCouch, and Chuanqing Sun. LABA1, a Domestication Gene Associated with Long, Barbed Awns in Wild Rice. The Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.15.00260
If you are interested in joining our program, please contact Dr. Diane Wang with a statement of interest and your CV.